Cabinet Office hits back at MPs over Hood role claims

LONDON - The Cabinet Office has hit back at claims that Andrew Hood, former special adviser to defence secretary Geoff Hoon, broke civil service rules over his move to City PR firm Brunswick.

BBC Radio’s Today programme this week reported MPs' claims that the lack of a 'cooling-off' period between Hood’s departure from the MoD and his appointment just days later at Brunswick breached civil service codes of conduct.

It was also alleged the MoD did not seek the necessary clearance from the Cabinet Office.

But the Cabinet Office this week disputed the accusations, claiming the MoD was not required to seek advice.

'MoD officials were satisfied that as Hood had not

had official dealings with his prospective employer during his period of Crown service, there appeared no risk of criticism. The appointment did not need to be referred to us,' a spokesman told PRWeek.

The allegations follow conflict of interest claims at the time of Hood’s Brunswick appointment last month, (PRWeek, 24 May).

Brunswick clients include Rolls-Royce and Smiths Industries, both of which indirectly supply defence firms. But agency bosses said they do not lobby on behalf of defence-related clients and claimed Hood’s role was not client-facing.

'Andy Hood is running the private office of senior partner Alan Parker and is doing no client work,' insisted partner Kevin Byram.

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